If funding remained at 1969 Apollo mission levels, NASA planned to develop such elements as a lunar orbit station in 1978, a lunar surface base in 1980, and a manned mission to Mars in 1981 or 1983

Just another Apollo? Part two

In mid-1969, as the Apollo missions were reaching their climax, NASA managers began to plan for the next phase of lunar exploration. This optimistic plan, issued by the Space Task Group, would have had NASA’s funding stay at Apollo levels, and, in a series of steps that followed Apollo, would have seen NASA develop such elements as a lunar orbit station in 1978, a lunar surface base in 1980, and a manned mission to Mars in 1981 or 1983. President Nixon rejected the ambitious Space Task Group plan, choosing instead to develop the infamous, loved and hated space shuttle.

Since the ultimate goal of the new ESAS program as far as the Moon is concerned is to develop a lunar outpost, and since this article is comparing the ESAS to Apollo, it … Continue Reading (6 minute read)

14 thoughts on “If funding remained at 1969 Apollo mission levels, NASA planned to develop such elements as a lunar orbit station in 1978, a lunar surface base in 1980, and a manned mission to Mars in 1981 or 1983”

  1. ElfMage83

    Cutting funds for science is a loss for all humanity.

  2. Tutwakhamoe

    If only the political will for space exploration had stayed consistent…..

  3. Darpyface

    It’s current budget would be \~$78 billion, if it kept it’s funding level from 1969.

  4. Dudeinairport

    There were detailed plans to send three astronauts on a flyby of Venus in the mid 70s. One of the options was to launch them on a Saturn V and then be able to use the spent upper stage as living space. The trip would have lasted over a year.

  5. EmoBran

    I have zero expertise in the field but I feel like a manned mission to Mars by 1983 would surely have been almost comically ambitious?

  6. fyz306903

    Jesus. And only now are we back to thinking about maybe doing moon landings in 10 years. We’ve been on an 80 year hiatus

  7. R0binSage

    I’m just bummed we haven’t walked on the moon in decades.

  8. i_fuckin_luv_it_mate

    Instead, I was born here with stupid heavy gravity, and bugs and shit.

    I’m an inner moon child born too early in time now, because of some grandpa in the 70s wanted tax cuts…

  9. aram535

    For an excellent audio book … “The man who knew the way to the moon”.

    I listened to it on audible, but you can find it on amazon. It’s about John C. Haubolt and his fight to get NASA to use lunar orbit rendezvous as the way to get to the moon. I truly had no idea.

    The crazy part is by rushing to get to the moon we actually lost out on being much more advanced in space. With the time crunch on the deadline of getting to the moon we actually took shortcuts (the right ones) to get there first but sadly we lost out on a lot of technology, like a space station on earth orbit.

  10. _Abe_Froman_SKOC

    Hey now, we had much more important use for that money. Carpet bombing Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian rice farmers.

  11. Frylock904

    My question is this, why does it seem to constantly fall on america to do these things, what about the rest of the planet? Sure we americans didn’t keep it going, but what of the rest of humanity, what’s their reason?

  12. Limp_Distribution

    Instead of discovering new things and driving humanity forward the leadership of the past decided to wage war, exploit the resources of the planet and destroy the environment, all for profit.

    Is that humanities only goal?

    Pursuing profits.

  13. B0ndzai

    You should watch For All Mankind, it’s a show pretty much about that.

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